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Check out what a very cold spy photographer snapped some pictures of. This car could very well be the upcoming Audi S8. Of course, as the car in the photos is totally unmarked, this could just be another variant of the big Audi. We've suspected for some time that a new S8 is coming, and we hear that it's most likely headed over to our shores. However, we've know next to nothing about what type of terror resides under the hood. Until today.
Unlike the last (frankly underpowered) S8, this new big-fast sedan is dropping the choked-off, Lamborghini-derived V10 in favor of a new twin-turbo V8. The good folks at Car and Driver are claiming the unit will displace 4.0-liters. Our source at Audi wouldn't confirm that displacement explicitly, but did say that C/D is, "on the right path." This same source noted that BMW's been using a smallish displacement twin-turbo V8 (4.4-liters) in the 7 Series for the past year and that Audi intends to stay competitive.

Our Audi source also noted that the new V8 will be offered in many flavors, and will allow Audi to meet all the emissions and mileage standards coming down the pike in the next five years. We're told to expect a wide range of configurations, similar to what Audi/Lamborghini did with their shared V10. That means different states of tune for different cars, as well as naturally aspirated and force inducted version. As for power, our source once again confirmed that Car and Driver knows what they're printing. Meaning that the 450 horsepower/450 pound-feet of torque neighborhood isn't a bad guess, though the final numbers could be higher.

Back to the car in the heavily cropped photograph (check out Autocar for the complete set of pics), we're still not 100-percent sure it's the S8. First of all, there are no visual cues to distinguish this black car from a regular A8, save for the requisite four tailpipes. However, as Autocar notes, the new S8 is said to have bold new bodywork to set it apart from the standard car. Also, examine the brakes. They appear to be larger diameter than the standard brakes, yet they aren't drilled or slotted. One would think (and we would agree with him) that an S vehicle would have a more serious set of stoppers. After all, even the A8 Hybrid "Concept" has fancier discs. Of course, maybe these are just placeholders used during cold weather testing. Yeah, we're pretty sure this is the new Audi S8.

[Sources: Autocar, Car and Driver]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The "(frankly underpowered)" was a joke, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "frankly underpowered"....?!?!
      As the owner of a 2007 S8, that comment sure hurt a bit.
      The normally aspirated 450HP V-10 moves the car briskly along and as said above set the S8 apart from the other 8-series Audis.
      I am a potential buyer of the new 7 or 8 platform but NOT because my '07 S8 is "underpowered". I believe the writer has been around too many nitro'd rice rockets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pity they're dropping the V10 then. That's what set it appart from all the others.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could it be the new iteration of the W12 A8?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's the best looking new A8 i've seen so far. Oh and screw the bi turbo v8, $10 says it's the V6 hybrid power train as that engine's good for up to 440hp.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering the 3.0 supercharged is vastly underrated in the S4, I wouldn't doubt the same thing about a twin turbo 4.0 S8 with a rated 450 hp but equating to roughly 500 HP and lbs/ft torque.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IIRC, neither the current S4 or S5 have slotted surface or drilled rotors, but they probably are larger than the ones on the A4 and A5. Also, I think the calipers and brake pads are different with the S models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know, it looks like it would be the right size to be a S8, however I just don't believe that Audi would change the lights of this variant so drastically.

      Regardless whether this is a S8 or not, I like what I am seeing. Hopefully the new A6/S6 will look something similar to this as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @cool_ozzyfromkalush - this is audi, not lexus. the number of exhaust tips is how you judge this car, or the S4, or any other "S" designated car, and has been for the better part of a decade.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its not the base A8, it has 4 exhaust tips.